Q&A Scene: Matt Malone

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?
I’m releasing my debut album, ‘S .I. X’, which is comprised of a collection of songs I’ve been playing live for a few years. It took me a while to finally get into the studio, purely due to the fact that I wanted to get it as right as I could the first time around, and I think with the masterful work of Adam Casey at The True Vine, I have succeeded in doing these songs justice.

Lyrically, ‘S .I. X’ consists of my deep interest in spirituality, occultism, symbolism, myth and literature in general, viewed through the prism of my personal experiences with love and loss. Musically, ‘S .I. X’ unifies my vast array of listening, incorporating elements of early blues and country music with post-punk and metal stylings blended with the avant-garde more broadly, particularly minimalism. There is a genuine instinct in me to bring forth some notion of momentary transcendence and to search the deepest, darkest abysses of my psyche in a hope to communicate (through music and poetry) what I believe to be universal in human nature.

So, with ‘S .I. X’ out, my band and I are embarking on a national tour, and I am really looking forward to beautifying and annihilating the audience in our singular way. It’s going to be killer.

What’s your favourite work at this point in time?
Currently my favourite song on ‘S .I. X’ would be the almost 11-minute epic ‘The Beast’, which is my devotional piece to the self-proclaimed ‘Great Beast 666’ Aleister Crowley and to the Thelemic movement generally. I’m really looking forward to presenting the song live, as the orgasmic build-up has been metamorphosing into this strange brew of The Doors meets Burzum. Really loving it.

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.
There are so many that come to mind. Okay, well, along with my singer/songwriter more traditional ‘band’ music, I occasionally do improvised noise/experimental performances. There was one time when I was playing at an all-day experimental event on Grand Final Day in Melbourne. It was surreal to be watching and listening to this crazy art with musicians playing dissonant drones, screaming blood-curdling howls, etc., while the rest of the city was involved in an event that was so diametrically opposed to what I was experiencing. It was like existing in a parallel universe.

What, or who, inspires you?
I find my interactions with the mysterious ways of ‘love’ in all of its various forms to be a wellspring for a lot of songs. In the innocuous mundanity or dramathat lives within that reality, there is sometimes this window that the lover opens for a moment that ignites something in the creative mind.

My reading and listening inspires me a lot too. Several individuals’ philosophy or outlook on life has had an impact on my music, like Crowley, Nietzsche, Rimbaud, Baudelaire and James Joyce. Even icons like Elvis Presley or Charles Manson have inspired me over the years in various ways.

I also find the work ethic of musicians like Michael Gira and Nick Cave very inspiring. The idea that being a musician or an artist is a job that you work at in a disciplined way, and not to wait for inspiration, but to constantly keep working for it. It’s an ethic I would like to pursue more, and is certainly something that I pit myself up against to keep my work moving, because as William Blake said: “Expect poison from standing water.”

Which song do you wish you wrote?
I can’t choose one song, there are so many. If I can pick two, I would have to say ‘Suzanne’ by Leonard Cohen and ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’ by Hank Williams. To my ears, they are perfect in every way.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
Guinness. It’s black, it’s dense, should only be drunk in pints and isn’t for everyone.

What’s next for you?
I’m going back into the studio very soon to record the next album, which will be in a different vein and style to ‘S .I. X’. These new pieces have arisen from the months of rehearsals we have been doing in advance of the launches and tour.

They kind of lilt to the tune of Dirty Three meets Popol Vuh. So very organic, minimal and, if I may say, beautiful. I am also working on another more ‘singer/songwriter’ record along with the desire to get a book out of collected poems/lyrics/short stories, etc. So there is plenty more where ‘S .I. X’ came from.

What’s your scene?
The magicians, musicians, poets, painters, alcoholics, junkies, sex workers, priests, schizophrenics, scientists, alchemists, anarchists, Elvis impersonators, punks, goths, metalheads, hillbillies, Raskolnikovs, sadomasochists, gypsies, Bill Hicks wannabes, lovers, and Travis Bickles of the world.

About Matt Malone

Matt Malone is a singer/songwriter and experimental musician whose unique fusion of the traditional and avant-garde has earned him a place as one of the most promising artists to emerge on the national scene. He has shared the stage with many internationally recognized legends including Kim Salmon (The Scientists), Hugo Race (The Bad Seeds), Wendy Rule and others, travelling across the country beautifying and annihilating audiences with his passionate and hypnotic performances.

The music itself is hard to pigeonhole, much like the man himself, landing somewhere between Johnny Cash and Howlin’ Wolf to Rowland S. Howard and Swans. With the literate lyrics calling upon esoteric sources and late 19th century Symbolist poetry, you can’t help but feel engrossed in the instinctually primal yet reaching for transcendent heights.

Out now through Heart of the Rat Records, Matt’s debut record “S .I. X” perfectly reflects his individualistic approach, calling upon all manner of genre, without fear and with freedom. There are hints of blues, country, post-punk, metal, experimentation, and above all a willingness to take leaps of faith and live dangerously. In a time where carbon copies are everywhere, here is someone who refuses to be anything but an iconoclast.

LAUNCH TOUR DATES

28/5: The Reverence, Footscray VIC (Devil in the West Fest) w/ Warpigs, Agonhymn, Trappist Afterland, Limnal, Bunyip, Fuschia, Clive of India
9/6: The Hamilton Hotel, Newcastle NSW w/ Trappist Afterland, Wildcraft
10/6: The Amp Shop, Sydney NSW w/ Trappist Afterland, Fuschia
11/6: The Music Farm, Wollongong NSW w/ Trappist Afterland, Stephen Holmes
12/6: The Front Bar & Gallery, Canberra ACT w/ Trappist Afterland
24/6: The Tote, Collingwood VIC w/ Eden (More T.B.C)
9/7: The Eastern, Ballarat VIC w/ Dead Salesmen Duo (More T.B.C)
22/7: The Exeter, Adelaide SA w/ Trappist Afterland (More T.B.C)

About Mandy Hall 805 Articles
Mandy is a music photographer & writer. She runs Mandy Hall Media, which includes Photography, Social Media marketing, PR & Graphic Design for the music industry. She is also a web developer - she created and supports this website.

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